Back to top

Key Facts

Reorienting The War On Drugs
Ineffective Policy
The United States’ policy of the “war on drugs” needs to change its focus to better discourage drug consumption.
Current Policy
The war on drugs has been entirely focused on making them hard to obtain and increasing penalties to production or distribution but one consequence has been to make them profitable for the drug cartels and gangs that control their supply.
Prevention and Decriminalization
The United States could achieve its goals by focusing on reducing the demand for illegal drugs through decriminalization and wider access to drug treatment options.
Decriminalization Is Not Legalization
Decriminalization is different than legalization, which misses the point. The end goal is to reduce drug use, not encourage its recreational consumption.
How To Use Resources
Resources spent on disrupting supply and paying for costly incarceration should instead be used to support drug demand reduction and treatment efforts.